War Room (film)

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War Room
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlex Kendrick
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyBob M. Scott
Edited by
  • Alex Kendrick
  • Steve Hullfish
Music byPaul Mills
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 28, 2015 (2015-08-28) (United States)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million[2]
Box office$74 million[3]

War Room is a 2015 American Christian drama film directed by Alex Kendrick and written by him and Stephen Kendrick. It is the Kendrick brothers' fifth film and their first through their subsidiary, Kendrick Brothers Productions.[4][5][6] The film was produced by Provident Films, Affirm Films and TriStar Pictures in partnership with the Kendrick brothers.

The film was released by Sony Pictures Releasing in North American theaters on August 28, 2015, and received generally negative reviews from secular critics, while Christian critics received generally positive reviews, and became a box office success and a sleeper hit, grossing $74 million worldwide[7][8][9] including $67.8 million domestically to become the 7th highest-grossing Christian film in the United States.[10]


Drug salesman Tony Jordan and his wife, estate agent, Elizabeth Jordan, appear outwardly successful; they have a large house, plenty of money, and a beautiful daughter named Danielle. Behind the façade, however, Tony and Elizabeth's relationship is strained. Tony is callous, verbally abusive and thinking about cheating on Elizabeth. In addition, because his job requires frequent travel, he is almost never there for his daughter.

Elizabeth goes to work with an elderly woman, Miss Clara, to sell her house. Miss Clara senses the stress Elizabeth is under, and suggests that Elizabeth fight for their marriage by praying for Tony. Miss Clara shows Elizabeth a special closet she has dedicated to praying, which she calls her "War Room"; as she puts it, "in order to stand up and fight the enemy, you need to get on your knees and pray." As Elizabeth starts to seriously pray for her husband, Tony leaves for a business trip, having dinner with a beautiful woman who invites him back to her flat. Just as he is about to leave with her, he becomes nauseous and runs to the bathroom to vomit.

Shortly afterward, Tony is fired for stealing drug samples; unbeknownst to Elizabeth and Danielle, he has been illegally selling those stolen samples to make even more money. Realising he has hit rock bottom, Tony rededicates his life to God. He now realises that he has to return both the stolen samples and his ill-gotten gains, even though revealing what he's done could send him to prison. Tony meets with his former boss and confesses; his former boss is moved by his willingness to admit his wrongdoing and make amends, and decides not to press charges. Tony begins to show an interest in his daughter's skipping rope skills and offers to participate with her and her friends in the upcoming double Dutch competition at the local community center. Tony and his daughter's team takes second place in the competition, creating a new bond between him and his daughter.

Elizabeth successfully sells Miss Clara's house to a retired pastor who realises someone has been praying in the closet. Shortly afterwards, Tony is offered a job as the director of the community center. Although the pay is only half of what he used to earn, he realises that with the income from his new job, combined with Elizabeth picking up some extra work, the family can budget... and survive.


  • Priscilla Shirer as Elizabeth Jordan
  • T.C. Stallings as Tony Jordan
  • Karen Abercrombie as Ms Clara Williams
  • Alex Kendrick as Coleman Young[11]
  • Michael Jr. as Michael
  • Alena Pitts as Danielle Jordan
  • Beth Moore as Mandy[12]
  • Tenae Downing as Veronica Drake
  • Ben Davies as Policeman


For this film, Alex and Stephen Kendrick decided to move away from Sherwood Pictures, the church-based film production company which had previously produced their films. In part the brothers left because they felt that the movie-making was distracting from other parts of the church's ministry, with Alex telling The Hollywood Reporter that they felt "We were the elephant in the room."[13] Instead, the brothers produced the film through FaithStep Films and released it through Sony Pictures.[13] Regarding the title of the film, director Kendrick says "We called it 'War Room' because, like the military, we should seek God for the right strategy before going into combat. By combat, I mean daily issues we face in our culture."[6] The brothers got their inspiration from prayer, with Alex stating that he believes even the idea of a war room was given to them by God.[14]


Principal photography took place over a three-month period during the summer of 2014 in several North Carolina locations, including Charlotte, Kannapolis, Concord, Hickory and Birkdale Village in Huntersville.[15][16] At Oakwood Cemetery in Concord, two different scenes set 40 years apart were filmed. Through special effects, the Charlotte skyline, larger trees and some additional headstones were added.[17]

African-American portrayals[edit]

Initial plans had the main characters being white; however, Alex began having dreams about a predominantly African-American cast and, believing that God was trying to tell him something, the brothers switched the characters to make it more in line with Alex's dream.[14] Early on, Sony expressed some concerns over a film with a mostly African-American cast produced by a white-led production company, but the brothers stuck to the premise.[13]

Several characters in the film are African-American and being released only months after the Charleston church shooting, those involved with the film say they don't believe that the timing of the film's release is a coincidence. According to director Kendrick, when Affirm Films first saw the film, they said, "If this had been told with a different race, it would be a different movie."[18]

Stallings, who plays a major role in the film, says, "There are many people out there—white and black—who stay with their families and work through their problems. They aren’t thugs or gang leaders. War Room tells the truth about society by showing the reverse of that stereotype. Racial tension is dangerous and people are dying and a lot of us want to see that stopped. We protest and speak out and tweet out, but this problem is much bigger than human beings. This movie will give people a way to take these problems to the Lord and show them that prayer is the best weapon to fight back."[18]


Provident Label Group and Sony Music Entertainment released a soundtrack with music from and inspired by the film[19] and the film's original motion picture score by Paul Mills.[20] They were both released on August 7, 2015.


War Room
(Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artist
ReleasedAugust 7, 2015 (2015-08-07)
LabelProvident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment
1."Warrior"Steven Curtis Chapman[21]4:31
2."Impossible"Building 4294:49
3."Press On"Mandisa3:21
4."Me Without You (Remix)"TobyMac3:40
5."Crazy Faith"John Waller4:25
6."Shake Yourself Loose"Vickie Winans3:59
7."Amen"I Am They3:56
8."To Know You"Casting Crowns4:47
9."Healing Begins"Tenth Avenue North3:53
10."Movie Score – (Raise ‘Em Up, Lord / Rekindle The Fire)"Paul Mills5:52
Total length:43:13


War Room
(Original Motion Picture Score)
Soundtrack album by
Paul Mills
ReleasedAugust 7, 2015 (2015-08-07)
LabelProvident Label Group / Sony Music Entertainment

All music is composed by Paul Mills.

1."Opening"Paul Mills2:33
2."Mad Ball"Paul Mills0:45
3."Wall of Remembrance"Paul Mills0:36
4."Slick Salesman"Paul Mills1:17
5."Temptation"Paul Mills0:49
6."I Call It My War Room"Paul Mills2:26
7."Contemplation"Paul Mills0:35
8."Love Me a Little"Paul Mills1:38
9."My Favorite Rep"Paul Mills1:07
10."Do It for Me"Paul Mills0:46
11."Knife Point"Paul Mills0:28
12."Truth and Grace"Paul Mills1:37
13."Learning to Fight"Paul Mills7:25
14."Kicking Out the Devil"Paul Mills2:28
15."Tired Sense"Paul Mills2:07
16."Nightmare"Paul Mills0:32
17."Discovering the War Room"Paul Mills1:23
18."Forgive Me"Paul Mills3:13
19."I Was Impressed"Paul Mills0:58
20."I Am Not Done with Us"Paul Mills2:58
21."I Can Do Better"Paul Mills1:56
22."Jump with Us"Paul Mills1:00
23."My Bonus Plan"Paul Mills1:15
24."Whatever the Consequences"Paul Mills2:31
25."That Was Grace"Paul Mills2:16
26."Baked In"Paul Mills1:09
27."Answer to My Prayers"Paul Mills3:29
28."Good Samaritan"Paul Mills1:22
29."That’s My Dad"Paul Mills0:34
30."Raise ‘Em Up, Lord"Paul Mills3:24
31."Rekindle the Fire"Paul Mills2:32
Total length:57:05


Box office[edit]

War Room grossed $67.8 million in the United States and Canada and $6.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $74 million, against a production budget of $3 million.[3]

War Room made an estimated $600,000 from Thursday night shows, which began at 7 p.m. in 1,017 theaters.[22][23] On its opening day, the film grossed $4 million.[24] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $11.4 million, more than double initial projections, finishing second at the box office behind third-week number one holder Straight Outta Compton ($13.1 million) with only 1/3 the number of theaters and twice the gross revenue per theater.[23][25]

In its second weekend, the film finished first at the box office with $9.5 million,[26] and became the first film to reach the number 1 spot at the North American box office with a gross of less than $10 million since The Possession reached number 1 in its second weekend with $9.31 million during the same weekend in 2012.[27] Over its four-day Labor Day weekend, the film posted an 18% increase with a weekend total of $13.4 million from 1,526 screens.[28] Regarding War Room's box office performance, CNN said "some might call it a faith-based David versus the secular Goliaths in the entertainment industry".[29] It still ranked number 3 in its third week, increasing its screen count to 1,647 with revenue of $7.8 million (18% drop). It increased its screen count by 295, but dropped to sixth place to $6.2 million.[26]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 34% based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 4.70/10.[30] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 26 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[31] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a rare average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale,[32] while PostTrak-surveyed filmgoers gave the film a 73% "definite recommend".[33]

The Los Angeles Times called the film "more of a Bible study than anything else" and "so heavy on broad pulpit pounding that it’s challenging to get swept away by the story’s message."[16] The A.V. Club called it "structurally listless and unimaginative", and said that it was "creepy to encourage women to believe the true source of their husbandly woes is Satan rather than an issue that probably needs to be discussed."[34]

Christian-focused publications gave it positive reviews, however. The Christian Post praised the film, calling it better than Courageous and Fireproof.[35] According to Crosswalk.com, "it comes as good news that War Room is a step up for the Kendricks, who continue to develop as filmmakers."[36]

Home media[edit]

War Room was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on December 22, 2015.[37] The film debuted in second place on the home video chart behind Minions.[38] The following week, War Room reached the top spot of the home video sales chart.[39] As of June 2019, the film has made $48 million from home media sales.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Result
MovieGuide Faith & Values Awards 2016 Most Inspiring Movie Won[40]
Dove Award 2016 Inspirational Film of the Year Won[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMC Theatres: War Room". AMC Theatres. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Jonathan Merritt (August 13, 2015). "Christian moviemakers opt for black cast after glut of whitewashed faith films". Religion News. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "War Room (2015)". The Numbers. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Fifth Kendrick film, 'War Room,' to be released in August". www.albanyherald.com.
  5. ^ "Update". sherwoodpictures.com.
  6. ^ a b "Kendrick Brothers movie, 'War Room,' out in theaters this weekend". Albany Herald. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  7. ^ "War Room Is Coming to Theaters August 28!". kendrickbrothers.com.
  8. ^ The Deadline Team (January 30, 2015). "Faith-Based Family Drama 'War Room' Set For August Premiere". Deadline.
  9. ^ King, Cecelia (September 1, 2015). "'War Room' displays box office clout of a faith-based audience". Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Christian Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "War Room – Cast". Warroomthemovie.com. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "War Room: Kendrick Brothers Christian Movie/Film – CFDb". Christianfilmdatabase.com. April 17, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Bond, Paul (September 17, 2015). "'War Room' Filmmaker: "The God of Hollywood Is Political Correctness" (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Hadley, Alicia. "Faith-Based "War Room" Promotes Healing Through Fervent Prayer". NBC News. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "Cabarrus-filmed 'War Room' stuns Hollywood with $11M opening". Independent Tribune. August 31, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Funk, Tim (September 2, 2015). "Christian film shot in Charlotte area makes box office splash". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Funk, Tim (September 2, 2015). "City a star in 'War Room'". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ a b ""War Room" Has The One Thing Many Christian Films Don't Have – A Black Cast". Huffingtonpost.com. August 15, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "War Room Soundtrack". Warroomthemovie.com. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  20. ^ "iTunes – Music – War Room (Original Motion Picture Score) by Paul Mills". Itunes.apple.com. August 7, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  21. ^ "Steven Curtis Chapman – "Warrior" (feat. scenes from War Room)". YouTube. August 26, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  22. ^ Dave McNary (August 28, 2015). "Box Office: 'We Are Your Friends' Beaten by 'War Room' Thursday". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro. "'War Room' Box Office Starts With $600K, Beating Zac Efron Movie". Deadline. Retrieved August 29, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ McClintock, Pamela (February 22, 1999). "Box Office: Faith-Based 'War Room' Ties With 'Compton' on Friday". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  25. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for August 28–30, 2015". Box Office Mojo. September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  26. ^ a b Simanton, Keith (September 6, 2015). "Weekend Report -'War Room' Walks to #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  27. ^ "Lowest Grossing Movies to Rank #1 at the Weekend Box Office". boxofficemojo.com.
  28. ^ "September 4-7, 2015". Box Office Mojo. September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  29. ^ Lisa Respers France (September 8, 2015). "How 'War Room' is winning the battle of the box office". CNN.
  30. ^ "War Room (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  31. ^ "War Room reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  32. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 31, 2015). "'War Room' Finds More Followers On Sunday, But 'Compton' Is Still King – Monday Box Office Final".
  33. ^ "Faith-Based 'War Room' Bible-Belts 'Straight Outta Compton' at Box Office". The Wrap. September 6, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  34. ^ "The filmmakers who helped Kirk Cameron battle porn want to pray away racial tension". Film. August 28, 2015.
  35. ^ "'War Room' Is Better Than 'Courageous' and 'Fireproof'". Christian Post. August 26, 2015.
  36. ^ "Kendrick Brothers Starting to Win the Battle with War Room". Crosswalk.com.
  37. ^ December 22, 2015: This Week on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD comingsoon.net, Retrieved December 31, 2015
  38. ^ ‘War Room’ Makes Strong Debut, But ‘Minions’ Still No. 1 on Disc Charts Variety, Retrieved December 31, 2015
  39. ^ ‘War Room’ Takes Top Spot on Home Video Sales Chart Variety, Retrieved January 8, 2016
  40. ^ "'War Room,' 'Coat of Many Colors' Take Top Prizes at Movieguide Awards". Variety. February 19, 2016.
  41. ^ "47th Annual GMA Dove Awards". NewsOK.com.

External links[edit]